Program Provides Free Meals To Students Throughout Summer
Even after students leave for the summer, many schools and community organizations will continue to provide children with healthy food options. The Boys and Girls Club of the Bemidji area is one of the local organizations to be providing free meals through a federal food program.
The Summer Food Service Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives organizations money to provide healthy food to children. Sites are established in areas where at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced price school meals.
The food they serve through out the summer will meet USDA and state standards of a balanced meal.
But this site is taking it one step further with their healthy habits program, which teaches the children about the need for a balanced lifestyle.
As part of a comprehensive approach, club members will even be growing part of their meals. They’ve added on to their gardening area with 15 recently installed raised beds.
Last year, they were able to produce over 900 pounds of fruits and vegetables. Any extra food was sold to area restaurants and at the club’s farmers market.
Any family regardless of income level can apply for a membership to have their child participate in this summer’s activities.